Amanda Barrie (born Shirley Anne Broadbent; 14 September 1935) is an English actress.

Career [edit]Edit

Born in Ashton-under-LyneLancashire, Barrie attended St Anne's College, St Anne's on Sea. She then trained at the Arts Educational School in London and later at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. She appeared in pantomime as a child and was a dancer before acting in a number of British television and film roles in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as presenting Hickory Housewith former Coronation Street star Alan Rothwell between 1973 and 1977. She was also in two of the Carry On films, a long-running series of British comedy films: she had a supporting turn as a cab driver in Carry On Cabby (1963) and took the title role in Carry On Cleo (1964), which helped her on her way to becoming an international star of stage and screen. In 1975, she played Mrs. B.J. Spence in the Walt Disney film One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing. After roles in a string of one-off television plays and series, she appeared in a guest role as a ballet mistress in the popular BBC comedy series Are You Being Served? in 1979.

Amanda worked for many years as a chorus girl in the West End until her first break as an actress came along. At sixteen she danced at the Windsor Club with Danny La Rue and Barbara Windsor, changing her name before making her West End debut in 1961's 'Babes in the Wood'. Throughout the sixties Amanda worked on many stage productions including 'Cabaret', 'Private Lives', 'Hobson's Choice' and 'Aladdin', and continued to perform on stage until the mid-1980s.

Barrie is well known for her role as a café proprietor's wife, Alma Sedgewick (later Baldwin), on Coronation Street. She was a bit-player in the early to mid-1980s before she was offered a contract in 1988, after which she became a very well known character. She continued in the role until her retirement in 2001. In the story, Alma was diagnosed with cervical cancer which later caused her death.

Since leaving Coronation Street, she continued to act, firstly as Margo Phillips in the long-running BBC soap opera Doctors for nine episodes, and in the popular ITV1 prison series, Bad Girls, playing inmate Bev Tull from the fifth series to the last, along with Phyl Oswyn played by Stephanie Beacham. The characters together were known as "The Costa Cons". She also became one of the celebrities who took part in Hell's Kitchen; a popular ITV1 "reality TV" series which screened in 2004. While on the show, she became so frustrated with Gordon Ramsay, that she tried to slap him across the face.

From November 2006 to January 2007, Amanda took a starring role in the pantomime adaptation of Jack and the Beanstalk in Canterbury. From December 2007 to January 2008, she appeared as the Fairy Godmother in the pantomime adaptation of Cinderella at the Gordon Craig Theatre in StevenageHertfordshire. From December 2008 to January 2009, she played the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella at the Grand TheatreBlackpool. She again played the role from December 2009 to January 2010 in Rhyl. In December 2010 and January 2011 she played the role in Bournemouth. She will play the role again from December 2011 to January 2012 in Worthing.

On Tuesday 7 August 2012 she also appeared in the BBC drama Holby City as troubled, sassy, failed actress Annabella Casey.

From December 2013 to January 2014 she will play Fairy Godmother once again at the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft.

Personal life [edit]Edit

In 1967 Barrie married theatre director Robin Hunter, and stayed with him until the mid-1980s; the couple had no children; he died in 2004. Her current life partner is Hilary Bonner.

She came out as bisexual in her autobiography, It's Not a Rehearsal.

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